Third Quarter Message from the President
Summer means happy times, sunshine and, of course, activity and merriment from your favorite, local bank!
It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through 2018! The cold winter days are just a faint memory, and spring blooms have made way for a lush summer. And while most of our customers will take this time to slow down and enjoy the season, SIS Bank and our employees are moving full-steam-ahead to continue to serve our communities.
We recently launched a ‘Mortgage Trifecta’ of sorts—featuring three lending options for all your homeownership adventures. We offered an incredibly competitive home equity line of credit, construction loan discounts and a special offering to Springvale Nurseries for new residential mortgage loans opened on or before 6/30/18. Whether it was for buying, building or adding on to your home, the expert and seasoned lenders at SIS helped make these journeys a successful one!
If your idea of adventure is more in line with travel, vacationing and summer road trips, you will love what we’ve done with our mobile banking features. SIS Bank now offers SecurLOCK Equip, which allows you (as the debit card holder) the ability to control how, when and where your debit card is used. This app is a simple and secure way to protect yourself from fraudulent transactions, and provides real-time transaction alerts so you always know when your card is in use. Gain peace of mind no matter where the summer takes you with controls for preventing fraud if your card is lost or stolen as well as setting spending limits and transaction capabilities, and blocking international or out-of-area transactions. Plus, SecurLOCK Equip provides 24/7 access to review transaction history, right at your fingertips. Simply download the app from the AppStore or Google Play, follow the easy steps to connect your SIS debit and credit cards, and you’re ready to roll!
It’s hard not to feel the effects of lazy summer days. As Cache, our husky dog in charge of our technology blog, reminds us—they are coined the dog days of summer for a reason! But there’s no need to fret if you’re relaxing outside with your tablet and don’t want to go inside to sit at your desktop and manage your accounts. Viewing your SIS Bank accounts is now easier than ever with our new responsive user interface for our online banking portal! What does this mean? No more pinching and dragging the screen on your phone or tablet to see the information on your accounts! And, you don’t even have to do a single thing to make this adaptation happen. When you log on, the site automatically detects the size of your screen and adapts to it for you. So go ahead—log in to online banking from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop without worry! Banking shouldn’t be frustrating, and this new responsive user interface is the next step in making your online banking experience flawless.
Any questions or concerns with either SecurLOCK Equip or the new online banking interface? Feel free to contact our Electronic Banking Department anytime at: (207) 324-2285 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve made some updates specifically for our business customers, too! As The Bank that Listens, we took your suggestions to heart and have come up with a bundle of small business products and services designed to better serve the local businesses in our communities. Looking to expand your business but are worried about cash flow during the summertime slowdown? Apply for our Hometown Season Opener short-term loan that you can pay back during your busy season. Or our Hometown Small Business Loan for real estate and working capital loan needs, and which also features 100% financing on equipment & vehicle loans. Tie it all together with our Ultimate Business Checking account and Perks @ Work benefits package for your employees, and this is one bundle of joy to truly make you smile.
Nothing makes us happier at SIS than brightening our customers’ days. With the season of outdoor gatherings and BBQ parties upon us, it made perfect sense to host a Customer Appreciation Day at our Wells branch. SIS employees cooked burgers and hot dogs, Espresso Dave stopped by to serve cold and hot coffee drinks and we even gave away Maple Whoopie Pies from Hilltop Boilers! We had such a great response that we actually ran out of burgers in the first hour and had to run and buy more burgers. You could say it was a pretty successful BBQ party.
It is also with great pleasure that we recently welcomed two new members to the SIS team: Ellen Niewoehner of Portland and Michael Morel of Cape Elizabeth. Ellen is the new Commercial Lender for our Buxton branch, and has over three decades of commercial lending experience to add to the SIS team. Michael will also be working out of the Buxton branch, as well as traveling to the other branches, as the Bank’s new Cash Management Officer. With close to two decades of retail and commercial banking experience, Michael will be responsible for managing the sales and service delivery of the Bank’s commercial deposit products.
Perhaps Ellen or Michael will be one of our next randomly chosen employees to participate in our Employee Donation Program. In April, we donated $500 to The Sisters Wish, we gifted $500 to the Sanford Backpack Program in May and for June, we gifted $500 to the Sanford-Springvale YMCA’s Camp Marland.
And our employees weren’t the only ones selecting local and deserving organizations for a monetary gift. Over the spring, we provided SIS customers with the opportunity to vote for their favorite area charities to win a well-deserved donation from the Bank, totaling 14 charities with gifted donations from SIS. We also extended this opportunity to the Bank’s Coporators at our Annual Meeting. Three Corporators were randomly selected and each chose a local nonprofit to receive a $1,000 gift from the Bank.
With all the upgrades and updates to our products, our services and our team, we’re certainly singing a happy tune this June—and we hope you will be, too!
Blaine A. Boudreau
Cache's Corner: Apps to Easily Fetch Memories of your Summer Travels
It’s been a whole year since I moved in to my new home... and boy, lots of memories have already been made! I’m pretty good at remembering stuff, especially all the times I played tricks on Clawdia, but it would have been nice to have catalogued my journey and experiences so far as a family dog.
My humans use social media to do this sort of thing, but I started wondering if there are other options out there. We’re planning a family vacation this month, so I took to the internet to find apps and interfaces beyond the standard social media platforms that would make editing and fetching memories of my summer travels easy. Here’s what I sniffed out:
1 Second Everyday
Free for Android; $4.99 for iOS
Traveling is super fun, but you likely want to spend your time actually enjoying your experiences rather than spending all your time looking at them through your phone screen. This interface accesses your photos and videos so you can pick one (or more) from each day, and then strings them together as one-second clips to form a mini-movie montage of your adventures! (And let’s face it—who wants to scroll through 100+ photos posted on Facebook?)
Free and Available for Android and iOS
Say you want to edit your photos to better capture those memorable moments beyond the filter apps out there, but need something user-friendly and don’t want to pay for it... Snapseed is your answer! This free app and interface has highly stylized and photo editing features like Photoshop, but is super easy to use and can be accessed on any device (including desktops!). Say hello to your memories in beautiful quality, any time you like!
Free and Available for iOs Only
Unlike when Clawdia tries to frame me, which is not fun, this framing app takes all the stress out of getting custom frames for prints of your best memories. Framebridge allows users to select, preview and order custom framing services right from their phones—saving you time as you pick or design the perfect frame for the adventures you want to remember from home! Projects cost $39–$199, which is definitely cheaper than going to a custom framing store.
Free for the First Three Stories, $5+/Month After
Social media is great for sharing content, but if you want a high-res, photo-centric narrative of your travels this summer, try Exposure. You just drag and drop your content into grids, and add a brief description and title. Anyone following you can choose to scroll through the thumbnails for a quick read of your doings, or click to enlarge and bask in the high quality of your photos in full-bleed!
Free and Available for Android and iOS
Not everyone wants to share what they’re up to with all of their friends, but do want to make sure key people know where they are and what they’re up to. Tripcast is a completely private photo and video sharing platform where your photos automatically upload to a travel map. Your friends and followers will get real-time notifications on your whereabouts and be able to make comments on the photos. And, friends can make a group album right in the platform, so everyone can access all the memories made on your adventures together. Mom should have no problem letting you backpack through South America now that she can keep an eye on you!
Free and Available for Android and iOS
You no longer need to rely on Twitter to get out quick updates of your adventures and things going on. Day One (new version called: Day One 2) is great for chronicling your memories on the go: upload a photo, add some highlights, and boom! The app will stamp your post with location, date, time and even the weather. Add tags to each post to easily organize your memories, later.
Free and Available for Android and iOS
No wifi? No problem! With Bonjournal, you can create posts of your memories offline complete with captions and tags and then upload them when you’re back in service range. You can connect this app to your social media accounts so you can choose which to share and which posts you want to keep locked as private. That 15-hour flight doesn’t seem so boring now, huh?
It seems like there’s a lot more out there than just social media for storing and retrieving memories of your experiences and travels (and I know a lot about retrieving). I’m going to keep looking for more apps and interfaces, and in the meantime I hope you try some of these cool apps for your summer adventures.
Catch you later!
Your pawsitively pawesome pal Cache
Golden Rewards: Experience the True Taste of Maine
Things have slowed down just a tad for the Golden Rewards program as we made our way through the holiday week and the intense heat wave that we experienced! However, taking a look back, we scored big (or at least liked to think so) at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. In our last newsletter we touched on our trip to Alaska and we had people asking what the scenery was like. Even though we would have to create a page just by itself to show all of the pictures that were taken during the trip, we were able to provide a few for you at the bottom of this article for you to see!
Our ever-popular, sold-out day trip to Cabbage Island up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine was yet again a huge success on Thursday. If you're unfamiliar with Cabbage Island, it's practically Seacoast Maine jammed into a small island. In short, Cabbage Island is the home of the traditional New England Clambake since 1956, cooking and steaming lobsters and clams with seaweed, tarpaulins, and rocks to capture all of the best flavors from the seafood staples of Maine. Among this trip though, a walk around the harbor and a brief history tour on the water upon the Benny Alice mark the few highlights of this trip – truly capturing Maine's essence. Be on the lookout for future trips to Cabbage Island as you'll surely not want to miss out on this opportunity.
Then for those of you who may be interested in seeing the iconic songs and duet of Kenny and Dolly, there has been a second bus added to the trip to accommodate even more to the tribute duo set to perform at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Mass.!
Outside of the travel program, Golden Rewards program continues to thrive here at SIS Bank, with well over 800 customers experiencing the benefits of free AARP, discounts to local attractions, free identity theft protection services through LifeStages, and so much more. Interested in learning more about the Golden Rewards program? Click here to visit our Golden rewards page or contact our Golden Rewards Director, Jackie Roberts at email@example.com or by calling (207) 608-4354.
Local Business Scam Awareness
As Recently Reported by the FTC: Scammers Use Similar Tactics for Businesses as They Do for Consumers. Your Best Defense is to Stay Informed.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched Operation Main Street, an effort with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and law enforcement to educate small business owners on how to stop scams targeting their businesses. Accordingly, the FTC released a brochure to explain some of these scams and to provide tips for business owners on how to thwart any threats.
Common Scams Currently Targeting Small Businesses
The FTC has outlined over 10 scams that are continually used to target small businesses. You may even recognize some of them as the same type of scams that consumers have reported experiencing. The first step to protecting yourself and your business is to be educated and aware of these scams, which include:
- Fake Invoices – Scammers may try to trick you into paying an invoice for a bill that actually never existed. They will likely try to fake this invoice using products or services your business typically uses, so that whomever pays the bills in your office will assume it’s a normal bill without looking into it, first.
- Office Supplies & Other Products – Similar to creating phony invoices, a scammer may call looking to confirm “an existing order” of office supplies your business likely actually uses on a regular basis. When the unordered merchandise is delivered, the scammer will start pressuring you to pay, possibly even using a recording of your earlier phone call as “proof” that the order was placed. One thing to note, you have a legal right to keep any and all merchandise you did not order, for free.
- Directory Listing & Advertising Scams – Scammers will call your office, asking for contact information in exchange for a free directory listing or free advertising services. Just like with the office supplies scam, they will follow up with a bill and demand payment, pressuring you to pay.
- Utility Company & Government Agency Imposters – These scammers will pose as your gas, electric or water company, or as government agents concerning your business licenses, taxes and even trademarks, and will usually threaten suspension or business closure unless the “unpaid fees and fines” are resolved. Business owners have even been tricked into paying to receive nonexistent grants from faked government agencies.
- Tech Support, Social Engineering, Phishing & Ransomware – Through the internet, scammers have access to your business by posing as a well-known IT company, letting you know there’s a problem with your computer or network security. They will likely ask to access your computer or ask you to pay them for a fake software program to “fix” the issue. Scammers may even trick your employees into giving up confidential information through social media or email targeting that’s made to look like it’s from a trusted source. Recently, the FTC has seen an increase in Ransomware, or when a scammer steals your computer or network’s data and holds it for ransom, often deleting the data forever even after being paid their asking price.
- Business Coaching & Promotion – Some scammers sell fake business coaching services, promising amazing results and exclusive market research to help you promote your business, only to disappear after their payment has been collected.
- Changing Online Reviews – Posting fake reviews is illegal, but scammers still try to claim that they are from some marketing company that can replace your negative reviews or boost your ratings score, for a fee (of course).
- Credit Card Processing, Equipment Leasing & Fake Checks – Be wary of callers who promise financing, such as lower rates for processing your business’ credit card payments or deals over the phone for equipment leasing. And certainly never sign a contract until it’s been thoroughly read and vetted by your own trusted source, like an attorney. A scammer may even try to fake you out by overpaying on a check, and asking that the extra money be wired to a third party to resolve the financing issue.
How to Protect Your Business
As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” An informed business, with informed employees, is a lot harder to deceive than an uneducated one. The FTC shares some great tips on how to protect your business, such as:
- Train your employees to talk to their coworkers if they suspect a scam or fraudulent claim. Scammers often target multiple people at once, so chances are your staff could stop the scam from occurring simply by alerting each other.
- Never send or ask to receive passwords and other sensitive information via email, even if you’re using an internal intranet system.
- Check all of your invoices thoroughly before paying them, including how the bill is being asked to be repaid (pay by wire transfer, reloadable card or by gift card are giveaways of a scam). You may also want to limit the number of employees responsible for paying invoices and make sure the procedures for approving invoices are clear to those people.
- Embrace technology, but don’t trust it completely. Scammers can easily fake caller ID to look like they are calling your company from a business you regularly work with, and can also easily fake emails and websites for reputable companies, too. Never open attachments or download files from unexpected emails, including social media messages (scammers can hack into social media accounts, too).
- Always research a new company online using the term “scam” or “complaint” before doing business with the company. You may find the too-good-to-be-true internet marketing company that’s calling you on a list of scam reports online.
As a small business owner, you likely spend a lot of effort ensuring your organization operates smoothly and efficiently. Taking the time to train your employees and stay updated on scams targeting businesses could save you much more time—and money—in the long run.
For any questions, comments or concerns about fraud protection, you can also contact your local SIS branch Assistant Manager. We are always here to listen and to help!
Ten Places in New England to Visit and Vacation During Your Summer Break
Thankfully, New England offers a variety of activities and getaways for all interests. With the summer season in full swing, planning a vacation or family outing can feel overwhelming with the many choices out there. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some great options to consider.
Day Trips & Weekend Getaways
Charlemont, MA – If viewing local foliage and fauna from a thrilling ride is your thing, take a drive to check out the zipline tours in Charlemont, MA. Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours emphasizes education as your guide provides details on the local forestry and the animals living within it. And if you're interested in an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Berkshire East does not disappoint—with two 2,000-plus-foot ziplines plunging downhill at 50 miles per hour!
Block Island, RI – Most New Englanders flock to the Cape in the summer months for its sandy beaches, or to hop a ferry to visit the quaint Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands. But what about Block Island? With clay bluffs, sea grass waving in the breeze and plenty of beaches and restaurants, this picturesque island just south of mainland Rhode Island is full of family fun! Take the ferry for a day trip or rent a cottage and stay the weekend.
Rockport, MA – Known as a quintessential New England fishing town, Rockport is as quaint as it is rocky (yes, it has lots of cliffs with beautiful seaward views). This tiny town sits at the top of the Cape Ann peninsula and is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy walking around the historic downtown or visit some of its historic sites including Halibut Point State Park, Thacher Island, the Paper House and the Rockport Art Colony Galleries. And of course, there's plenty of beach space to take in an afternoon dip!
Acadia National Park, ME – Sometimes, the best family trips are the ones taken in our own backyard! Especially if you haven't been before, taking a relaxing drive through Acadia National Park via the Mount Desert Island Loop Road is a spectacular way to spend a day. At 27 miles, this circumnavigation starts at charming Bar Harbor and truly shows off the scenery of this second-largest island in New England. Bring a picnic and save some time for the Hulls Cove Visitor Center!
Coastline of NH – Another great road trip perfect for any summer day is driving the coastline of New Hampshire. From Portsmouth to Hampton Beach, there are plenty of places to stop and visit, whether for food, to take in the scenic views or even to tour some historic sites, like Fort Constitution or the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle.
Cooperstown, NY – Perched at the southern tip gorgeous Otsego Lake, this lovely town isn’t just full of places to camp, hike, swim and shop. It's also home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame! Stay in a bed and breakfast inn, find a campground or take your vacation to the next level with a stay at the Otesaga Resort Hotel.
Brattleboro, VT – Love art? Then you definitely don't want to miss out on taking in Brattleboro's Gallery Walk, held on the first Friday of every month! While many New England towns have tried to emulate the bohemian vibe, Brattleboro takes the cake with its visual-arts scene entrenched in the Green Mountain region of Vermont. Rent a cottage and enjoy the local artwork that decorates every storefront, brew pub, bank and boutique in town.
Weirs Beach, NH – Close to Laconia and Concord and situated on sunny Lake Winnipesauke is the family-oriented vacation town of Weirs Beach. With plenty of beach resorts, cottages and hotels to rent from, you and the family can stay a while and enjoy everything this area has to offer. Take the kids for mini-golf, go-karts, boat cruises and to the water park, and enjoy restaurants and fun nightlife, too!
Maine State Parks – Whether with the family or a whole group, the best places to camp can be found right in our own neighborhoods. Maine's State Parks offer lakeside tent sites as well as coastal island camping complete with amenities. And for those that like less-structured sites, you can visit and stay in the state's Public Reserved Lands. Either way, you'll enjoy mountain hiking, fishing and other glorious outdoor activities!
Woodstock, VT – Maybe "roughing it" isn't your idea of a vacation. If you're looking for plush guest rooms, lazy days and concierge service at your call, then consider the Woodstock Inn and Resort. For 218 years, this stunning historic property has been serving New Englanders the soothing getaway of their dreams. And now, you can take luxury to the next level with its newly-opened 10,000 square foot spa built as a LEED-certified eco-friendly building. Treatments emphasize natural, Vermont-sourced elements like pumpkin, maple, pine and berry.
No matter if you're looking for an afternoon of fun, a weekend of activity or a week (or two!) of family vacation time, New England has so much to offer. Take in a show, some art, or sample local food and, of course, enjoy the sun and swimming this summer season!
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